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cordwood structure with bamboo  RSS feed

 
Craig Butler
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Greetings,

Would the properties of bamboo exclude it from consideration as a wood in a cordwood-type construction? I am intrigued by building a small structure in Taiwan (earthquakes and high rainfall and humidity being concerns).

Thanks!

Craig
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hey Craig,

Welcome to Permies!!


The encapsulation of bamboo in a cobb matrix of clay is common place in many regions like Taiwan. In Japan and throughout Asia "infill panels" of clay and woven bamboo strips is very mainstream. So taking bamboo and using it in one of the traditional "stack wood" styles of infill, such as Kubbhus should be achieveable with good design and planning.

What do you have in mind?

Regards,

j
 
Craig Butler
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Thanks, Jay, you've led me onto an interesting path. My wife and I are planning retirement (of sorts), where we'll spend part of the year in my native Maine and part in her native Taiwan. I've been plugging away at a timber frame in Maine for a few years (on a teacher's schedule), and now see some light at the end of the tunnel to work on setting us up for something sustainable in the Taiwan foothills (longer growing season, lots of solar potential, great people). There are many different species of bamboo, as you know, with one nearby growing to 4-5" diameter, but I don't know what diameter might in fact be considered ideal, if the bamboo needs to be treated (boric acid, for example), or if the clay cobb matrix should be fortified with earthquakes in mind. What I have in mind is a one floor two bedroom open design with high vaulted ceilings. Taiwan is pleasant enough most of the time for an indoor-outdoor lifestyle plan. Finding any timbers of substantial size is challenging in Taiwan, though there may be 6-8" diameter cedars available. Smaller dimension cedar is another consideration for cordwood; part of me was simply intrigued the possibility of bamboo owing to his ready supply. Any design references other than those already given would be most appreciated. I'm at least 8 months away from any actual construction, and it might be as much as 2 years.

Best,

Craig
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hey Craig,

Sorry if this is overwhelming, but you are in an area that I really understand, and love the architectural forms of the region. First, primary focused recommendation of the "big picture" on architecture whenever and wherever possible:

Look to the vernacular systems for a given area that utilize building sites natural resources the most efficiently possible...

And

Design for serviceability though the process of "modularity" and "dis-entanglement."

Things to read and look at while you plan:

Jade Turtle Paul isn't that far away and know the climate of Taiwan well. A friend to also ask questions of...

Dr. Kanpp He is a mentor, and knowledgeable authority of the regions vernacular designs and building modalities

Nias Architecture is probably one of the most applicable design systems generically for the entire region, though there are many, yet all have similar "post and lintel" design formats.

The fortunate dimension of traditional Taiwanese Architecture.

The grammar of Taiwanese traditional vernacular dwellings.

SEISMIC EVALUATION OF TRADITIONAL TIMBER STRUCTURES IN TAIWAN

TRADITIONAL ARCHITECTURE ON TAIWAN

There is much, much more, but this should get you going. A "stack wood" infill method with bamboo is possible, yet I am not sure it is ergonomically the most applicable considering the other vernacular and indigenous systems that are known, understood, and have proven most durable for the region.

Regards,

j
 
Craig Butler
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Can't thank you enough, Jay. Now I have my holiday reading list! Will be in Taiwan in a few days for a trip and will try to make time to visit some referred locations/people.

Best wishes for the holiday,

Craig
 
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